Meet Your Big Park Council Rep: Donald Beard
Who do you represent on Big Park Council and what kind of member is it: Residential (RAM), Business (BOA), or Educational Institution (EIM)? Briefly describe its character or anything that makes it unique.
I represent Cathedral View II, a residential area with 15 lots, 13 of which have been built on. A small group like we have makes it easy to have a very tight knit community. We work well together and are able to live in a very stable and pleasant environment.
Current/Past Officers and Committee/Project Chairs, describe your title and responsibilities. What have been your most interesting challenges and successes with the Council?
I have served as President, Treasurer, Transportation Committee Chair and Parks & Recreation Committee Chair. I have also served on the Nominating Committee for Council Officers multiple times.
I was President during the SR 179 reconstruction. There was considerable discussion regarding the 4-lane highway (originally proposed by ADOT) and the alternative 2-lane road with roundabouts. This was a good example of the people expressing their opinions as to what they felt was needed in their community. It turned out great and most of SR-179 became designated as an All-American Road, the first in Arizona, by the US Dept. of Transportation.
When Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee, we sponsored a summer youth program using Big Park School facilities. This worked fine and continued until there was a conflict with the school construction and the formation of a summer program in Sedona was started.
Do you work full time, part time, retired or retired part time?
I will have been retired for 22 years this June. I recommend it. You can be as busy as you want to be and can quit any time you want. Being busy is easier when you know that you don't have to do that if you don't want to. The nice thing is the retiree's calendar. The week contains 6 Saturdays and a Sunday. There is Sunday, first Saturday, second Saturday, third Saturday, fourth Saturday, fifth Saturday and real Saturday.
How many years have you lived in the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek area and from where did you come? What do you like best and least about living here?
I have lived in the Village for 22 years. We moved here from Huntington Beach, California. We loved Huntington Beach; the problem was that everyone else did too. We wanted to get out of the big city and have a quieter life style. We were attracted to Sedona by the magnificent scenery and came to love Sedona because of the wonderful people that surround it. What I like least is probably the traffic, but this is minimal. Coming from southern California, the traffic here is very acceptable.
What are your favorite pastimes, interests and/or community involvements?
I am amazed at the willingness of so many people here who are so involved in community activities. It seems everyone is involved in something. When we moved here we didn’t know anyone and had no idea what our lives were going to be like. We soon found out. We read an article about a retired teacher group and became involved, and still are. We went to the Church of the Red Rocks and became involved, and still are. I heard about the VIPs, a volunteer organization of the Sheriff’s office and was involved for over 16 years.
There are so many ways to be a part of the community. Pick your interests and get involved, you won’t be sorry.
What is one of your proudest accomplishments and/or one of your most memorable experiences?
I am proudest that I have a loving family. I am proud of my son who is able to live a life doing things he enjoys doing and proud of my grand daughter who is finding her way through life. My wife and I are proud of our life in Sedona, surrounded by God's magnificent creations and our multitude of loving friends.
What has been your favorite or most valued work experience? Has the Council provided an opportunity for you to use your expertise?
I had a very successful career teaching High School and College Chemistry. Four times I had the best chemistry student in Orange County as determined by a test administered by the American Chemical Society. No other teacher had more that one student winner. I was awarded "Chemistry Teacher of the Year" by Nobel Chemistry Laureate Sherwood Rowland of University of California, Irvine. Very humbling.
There are not a lot of chemistry applications used in the Council. However, one application is that there isn't just one way to do something and everyone can have an idea that you haven't thought about yet. The Council has a variety of members all of whom are important to the functions of the Council.